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Hurricane Irma helped bring heavy rain to parts of the Southeastern U.S. during September 2017, but numerous areas to the north and west of that area saw one of their driest Septembers on record. We also saw pockets of heat spread out across the nation. In this edition of D.J.’s PraeDigits, we take a look back at September 2017 across the nation.

Irma Helps Bring Heavy Rain In September 2017

Some of the heaviest precipitation in September 2017 fell across parts of Florida, which was battered by Hurricane Irma during the second weekend of the month (and early into the next week). A COOP station in Ft. Pierce, FL, ended up with 25.71″ during the month, most of that falling within a three day stretch surrounding Irma. Because of this, Ft. Pierce saw their wettest (13.85″ on September 10th) and second wettest (7.80″ on September 11th) September days on record.

The Ohio Valley also ended up with some heavy rain amounts due to two different systems – what was left over of both Harvey (at the beginning of the month) and Irma. Heavy rain was also observed across portions of the Plains, including areas of Montana and the Dakotas under extreme/exceptional drought.

Due to Irma in Florida, two locations saw a top ten wettest September on record. All the other 14 long-term climate locations across the nation that saw a top ten wettest September 2017 were west of the Mississippi River according to data from the Southeastern Regional Climate Center. Here’s a partial list of those 16 locations that did see one of their wettest Septembers on record:

  • Gainesville, FL: 15.28″ (3rd wettest)
  • Elko, NV: 1.93″ (3rd wettest)
  • Huron, SD: 5.97″ (3rd wettest)
  • Pocatello, ID: 2.95″ (3rd wettest)
  • Orlando, FL: 14.09″ (4th wettest)
  • Alamosa, CO: 1.75″ (6th wettest)
  • Billings, MT: 2.74″ (6th wettest)
  • Clayton, NM: 4.39″ (6th wettest)
  • Goodland, KS: 3.85″ (7th wettest)
  • Del Rio, TX: 6.33″ (8th wettest)
  • North Platte, NE: 4.75″ (8th wettest)
  • Redding, CA: 0.61″ (8th wettest)
  • Albuquerque, NM: 2.2″ (9th wettest)
  • Bakersfield, CA: 0.52″ (9th wettest)
  • Ely, NV: 1.72″ (9th wettest)
  • Grand Forks, ND: 4.45″ (10th wettest)

Dry From The Lower Mississippi To The Great Lakes

While the dry season continues across the western U.S., areas from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Great Lakes saw much drier than average weather. This included areas of Louisiana, where areas like Baton Rouge went from their wettest August on record to their second driest September. Both Fort Smith, AR, and Shreveport, LA, recorded no rain at all last month.

According to the Southeast Regional Climate Center, a total of 32 long-term climate locations across the lower 48 saw a top ten driest August on record. This partial list of locations below does not including the California locations shown on the map:

  • Fort Smith, AR: 0″ (1st driest)
  • Phoenix, AZ: 0″ (1st driest)
  • Shreveport, LA: 0″ (1st driest)
  • Baton Rouge, LA: 0.08″ (2nd driest)
  • Grand Rapids, MI: 0.66″ (3rd driest)
  • New Orleans, LA: 0.42″ (3rd driest)
  • Chicago, IL: 0.32″ (4th driest)
  • Sault Ste Marie, MI: 1.05″ (4th driest)
  • Cleveland, OH: 0.81″ (5th driest)
  • Indianapolis, IN: 0.66″ (5th driest)
  • Waterloo, IA: 0.79″ (6th driest)
  • Madison, WI: 0.55″ (7th driest)
  • Little Rock, AR: 0.45″ (8th driest)
  • Dallas, TX: 0.48″ (10th driest)

Many Pockets Of Heat In September

There were also a number of heat pockets during September 2017 spread out across the nation. One of those was in Florida, where Miami saw their warmest September on record. More locations that saw their one of their warmest Septembers on record were found in New England, states surrounding the Great Lakes, and in the western U.S from Washington to California.

Overall, 40 long-term climate locations across the lower 48 saw a top ten warmest September on record. Here is a partial list of those that did:

  • Miami, FL: 84.8° (1st warmest)
  • San Francisco, CA: 69.8° (1st warmest)
  • La Crosse, WI: 68.8° (2nd warmest)
  • Tampa, FL: 83.4° (2nd warmest)
  • Caribou, ME: 61° (3rd warmest)
  • Portland, ME: 64.6° (3rd warmest)
  • Seattle, WA: 64.7° (3rd warmest)
  • Redding, CA: 76.7° (4th warmest)
  • Bangor, ME: 65.1° (4th warmest)
  • Cleveland, OH: 69° (5th warmest)
  • Hartford, CT: 67.6° (6th warmest)
  • Des Moines, IA: 70.8° (6th warmest)
  • El Paso, TX: 78.9° (6th warmest)
  • Bridgeport, CT: 69.1° (8th warmest)
  • New York-JFK, NY: 70.5° (8th warmest)
  • Daytona Beach, FL: 80.8° (9th warmest)
  • New York-LGA, NY: 71.5° (9th warmest)
  • Grand Rapids, MI: 66.5° (10th warmest)
  • Minneapolis, MN: 67.2° (10th warmest)
  • Portland, OR: 66.6° (10th warmest)

What Could The Month Of October Hold?

In October, the Climate Prediction Center is expecting warmer than average weather across the southern and eastern United States, with the highest probabilities occurring in the Northeast. The probabilities are in favor of cooler than average weather across parts of the Northern and Central Rockies.

Areas from the Northern Rockies to the Upper Midwest and south into the Central Plains have a higher probability of seeing wetter than average conditions during October, along with parts of southwestern Alaska. Meanwhile, drier than average weather is expected from northeastern Texas to southern New England, including the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.

Remember you can catch more PraeDigits on our twitter page (@PraedictixWX) or by searching #PraeDigits on twitter!

– Meteorologist D.J. Kayser

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